Punakha: a land of Bhutanese mountains and monasteries
Although it has not gloried in the title of Bhutan’s capital since 1955, Punakha retains the stately atmosphere of its past. Gazing up at the towering Himalaya, Punakha’s picturesque green valley is entirely dominated by the Punakha Dzong or 'Palace of Great Happiness', a vast walled monastery set magnificently at the confluence of the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu Rivers.
Built in the 17th century to serve as the region’s religious and administrative centre, the great dzong remains the most spectacular building in all of Bhutan. It provides the focus of the area’s cultural and spiritual draw.
Elsewhere in the valley, the Chimi Lhakhang is another must-see temple dating back to 1499. It is dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kinley – also known as the ‘Divine Madman’.
With its awe-inspiring backdrop of the Himalaya, the Punakha valley is also a hugely rewarding location for outdoors adventure. A&K experts are perfectly placed to arrange unforgettable mountain biking, rafting and trekking tours in all the region’s scenic hotspots.